Saturday, April 30, 2016

Guest Strip - "This Uncivil War is Upon Us!"

Image (c) Butcher Billy, @thebutcherbilly

Doug: Around the BAB we can certainly relate to the Beatles song "Eight Days a Week" -- that's what we have planned for you over the next several days as we turn this place into a sort of Captain America: Civil War clearinghouse. We're kicking things off in style today with another strip from the very talented PF Gavigan -- you're going to love it!

Doug: Following PFG, and no less awesome, will be posts from your hosts as well as staff writers Redartz and Martinex1. Colin Bray also joins the fray on Thursday, and Saturday Karen will provide the usual spoiler-free opportunity for your thoughts on the film. We are really excited about today and these next several to follow.



Humanbelly said...

*AAAGHH!*-- I tried striking a Kirby-esque pose in response, and went down like a stuck wildebeest-! I think it may have cost me a hamstring--- blasted anatomically impossible hyper-poses-!!!

May I add BACK TO THE FUTURE 3 to the list for your nephew, eh? And didn't HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KIDS? make it to three films? (Hard to believe, I know-- the first one was at best a harmless diversion. . . )

I wonder, though-- the Threepeat Curse may be more of a testament to the inherent problems in the Way Hollywood Works (or has historically worked), as opposed to any requisite third-installment let-down. A movie's a huge hit-- and producers immediately say "Let's make one. . . no TWO more!! A symphony of turnstiles!" So the impetus is usually not from someone saying "I have more story to tell", but from an exec saying "find me a story to fill the two movies I want to cash in on". Granted, that's a dead-simplistic generalization, and it doesn't guarantee a bad movie, but it's obviously putting the expected economic reward cart before the artistic vision horse. (As I completely lose track of my own metaphor, there. . . ) I'm gonna suggest that the case may be different with the Marvel Cinematic output in general, esp w/ the Cap/Avengers films since they clearly have a more thought-out, on-going arc driving them. Kind of borrowing just a bit from what makes a lot of superhero television series work so nicely, y'know? And while, of course, DISNEY/MARVEL is in it for the money-- I still get a very strong sense that the folks doing the making are in it 'cause the LOVE doing these kinds of films, which lends them an honesty and legitimacy that continues to put them over. Yeah? Maybe?

Note #1-- The jackets in the last panel, PFG? IKYN, I didn't catch the arm-patches at first glance, and my FIRST REACTION was, "Oo-- spiffy jackets!" Bless you for so bravely reviving them-!

Note #2-- It is an unparalleled (and unexpected!) HONOR to be a supporting cog in the PFGVerse. I guess. . . I guess I can now retire, having made my immortal mark upon this all-too-mortal coil. . .


Redartz said...

PFG- Excellent post; a true illustrated treat! Loving your strips; keep it up. You should publish...

Can't argue with most of your 'threepeat' examples. I could only come up with one example that I consider an increase in quality for a third franchise production: "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade". Perhaps not equal to the first installment, but certainly better than the second.

Oh, and You and "Lil' HB" are rocking those Avengers bomber jackets...

Humanbelly said...

Oh, say PFG-- was the decision not to cite IRON MAN 3 on your list an editorial call on your part? One I would def agree with, mind you-- I really did like that installment much more than the 2nd one, but I suspect that's not a widely-held opinion.

Oh man-- and we would be remiss if we over-looked HALLOWEEN 3 ("Six more days til Hal-lo-ween. . . Sil-ver Shamrock!"). Impossibly bad non-arc/non-canon "sequel".


Anonymous said...

Another "threepeat" was Escape From The Planet Of The Apes which was a stupid and unnecessary sequel.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion of course :)

Edo Bosnar said...

Nicely done, as usual, PFG.
However, I find some of your examples questionable: first and foremost Search for Spock, which I found just fine as a sort of epilogue to Wrath, and really don't see an appreciable dip in quality. I also agree with HB about both Temple of Doom and Last Crusade and the Iron Mans (actually, in the latter case, 2 like 3 about the same, but I give some preference to IM 3 because of that scene where he rescues all the people who got sucked out of the hole in that airplane - one of my favorite sequences in any superhero film ever).
Also, I find the Blade and Pirates of the Caribbean movies pretty much interchangeable.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I liked Back to the Future 3, Men in Black 3, and Iron Man 3. None of them could top the originals, but I found all 3 entertaining. I'm wracking my brains for other decent or good 3rd installments. So far I have Army of Darkness, Son of Frankenstein, Son of Dracula, Star Trek 3, Return of the Jedi, Toy Story 3, and Day of the Dead. None of them are as good as the first installment (or in the cases of AoD & Trek 3, the 2nd), but the third movie in a series isn't always the worst or even mostly bad.

Pfg's list is much longer than mine, so the rule usually holds. Early reviews for Cap 3 are generally very positive, though. The previews look good. I'm optimistic.

Awesome cartoon, Pfg! Milk your 15 minutes of fame for all it's worth, hb!

- Mike Loughlin

William said...

Awesome stuff, PFG! I think all blogs about comicbooks should be done in comicbook format. LOL

I pretty much agree with most of your list. I think that some people would add "Return Of The Jedi" to mix. No myself however, as I loved that movie. The rescue of Han Solo at the beginning of that film is still my favorite scene/s from any Star Wars movie.

I have also heard of the curse of the "odd numbered" movie, particularly when referring to the original Star Trek franchise. For example, Star Trek 2, 4 and 6 were all considered the best Star Trek movies, while Star Trek 1, 3, and especially 5 were considered to be not so good. However, I agree with Edo that Star Trek 3: The Search For Spock was as good an installment as any. I always liked that movie.

Edo Bosnar said...

William, on the Star Trek movies, I never agreed with the apparently popular view that the odd-numbered ones are bad and the even numbered ones are good. I totally don't agree with that (for example, I really like the Motion Picture), and the only ones I really do not like are 5 and 10, i.e. an odd and an even.

Doug said...

In my opinion, Superman III may be one of the worst films ever made. And I loved Christopher Reeve in "The Movie" and II. And I liked Richard Pryor. But that film...

I liked Escape from the Planet of the Apes because it set in motion this seemingly endless spiral of timelines that we're still trying to wrap our minds around with this new trilogy. That for me is one of the best qualities of the entire film series.

And PFG's strip is again wonderful, isn't it? And the epilogue... Big grin on my face when I opened that.


Martinex1 said...

PFG I really like the last panel of your strip with the big hands holding the battling characters; nice homage to a ton of classic Bronze Age art. Nicely done and again very entertaining.

I thought Jaws 3 was horrible. The second one was lousy too though. The Matrix went downhill even faster. And I've never been overly excited about the 3rd Indiana Jones. I know it gets a lot of accolades, but Sean Connery didn't add much for me and it seemed very repetitive. I'm sure I'm in the minority there. And I also have to say Return of the Jedi was a letdown for me. I know I know ... Sacrilege.. I still cannot get past the Ewoks and another Deathstar etc.

So here's hoping Civil War really bucks the trend. It seems like it's going to be the 3rd Captain America and the 3rd Avengers all rolled into one..

What is the best 3rd movie?? Harry Potter? Lord of the Rings? Toy Story? James Bond?

Humanbelly said...

PRISONER OF AZKABAN is my favorite Potter film of them all. Good call on that one, MX1.


William said...

BTW Doug, love those Frank Miller-esque Captain American vs. Iron Man images. Those are pretty awesome.

It's funny how they (Marvel) switched the roles of the two protagonists around from DKR. In Civil War the billionaire playboy in the super suit of armor is the government stooge, and the flag waving, boy scout, all American superhero is the anti-establishment rebel.

In case no on ever noticed it before Marvel's "Civil War" is a direct and deliberate rip-off of DC's "Kingdom Come". (To the point that I wouldn't have blamed Mark Waid if he'd sued Mark Millar for plagiarism).

For example:

KINGDOM COME: A battle between superheroes and super-villains ends in tragedy when Captain Atom explodes killing a bunch of superheroes and innocent civilians in the process.

CIVIL WAR: A battle between superheroes and super-villains ends in tragedy when Nitro explodes killing a bunch of superheroes and innocent civilians in the process.

KINGDOM COME: As a result of the aforementioned tragedy the government enacts a new law that demands the unmasking and registration of all super-powered individuals (be they hero or villain).

CIVIL WAR: As a result of the aforementioned tragedy the government enacts a new law that demands the unmasking and registration of all super-powered individuals (be they hero or villain).

KINGDOM COME: A giant "super prison" is constructed to indefinitely incarcerate any and all super-humans (hero or villain) who fail to comply with the new registration law.

CIVIL WAR: A giant "super prison" is constructed to indefinitely incarcerate any and all super-humans (hero or villain) who fail to comply with the new registration law.

KINGDOM COME: Superman gathers together a team of pro-government superheroes to round up and imprison all those who do not willingly cooperate with the new law (be they hero or villain). Meanwhile, Batman gathers together a team of pro-civil rights superheroes who oppose Superman's team and tries to help those super-beings who feel the new law violates their constitutional rights.

CIVIL WAR: Iron Man gathers together a team of pro-government superheroes to round up and imprison all those who do not willingly cooperate with the new law (be they hero or villain). Meanwhile, Captain America gathers together a team of pro-civil rights superheroes who oppose Iron Man's team and tries to help those super-beings who feel the new law violates their constitutional rights.

KINGDOM COME: EVentually a "Civil War" breaks out between all the DC superheroes resulting in several deaths, including Captain Comet and Captain Marvel (SHAZAM).

CIVIL WAR: Eventually a "Civil War" breaks out between all the Marvel superheroes resulting in several deaths, including Giant-Man and Captain America.

So, DC did it first, but at least they had the good common sense to make it an out of continuity "Else-Worlds" story.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I've got cable, so I just wait a year till these turkeys come around and watch them from the safety and comfort of my domicile. My neighbors are used to hearing me howling in despair. It's better this way, if a superhero movie turns out to be crapola, which is usually the case, I can just switch the channel and curse the uncaring universe.
I tried watching Iron Man 3, lord how I did try. I will never speak of it again. It was a crime in the eyes of man and God.
Ant-man was not without it's modest charms, and Guardians was terrific, so there is hope, I guess.
But I ain't goin' to the theater no more, not after the Hobbit. No way no how.

pfgavigan said...


The absolute best threepeat, Goldfinger.

The previous Bond films, Doctor No and From Russia With Love, were good and there's no denying that. But with the third film everything just came together in the person of Gert Frobe as Auric Goldfinger, the ultimate Bond villain.

"Do you expect me to talk?"

"No, Mister Bond. I expect you to die."

And, as a totally unexpected bonus, Harry (Oddjob) Sakata starred in a series of Vicks Cough Syrup commercials that were a total hoot.



Anonymous said...

Yep, Goldfinger was a classic.
The third Terminator movie wasn't too bad, and I thought the third Blade film was pretty decent. Not classics or anything, but not horrible. The bathroom fight in Terminator 3 was pretty funny, actually!

pfgavigan said...


Just wanted to thank everyone for their comments and their ideas concerning good and bad threepeats.

I'm trying really, really hard not to have too high of expectations regarding Captain America: Civil War. As mentioned in an earlier column, I saw and enjoyed Batman v. Superman. Didn't think it was great and certainly can't remember much of it several weeks later, but I still enjoyed it. I believe one of the reasons why I did was because I wasn't anticipating much out of it and was pleasantly surprised. And I saw that Star Wars remake/reboot/retread and rejected it. And that had about as many recommendations as CA:CV (and that means something in Latin abbreviation, I just can't remember what) currently does.

It's all subjective. But I do hope that we all find something this summer that we can enjoy, be it in the theater, digital media or book store.

By the way, when a multi million dollar software company that specializes in Painter style programs makes it impossible to reinstall a program that the customer legitimately bought, it is an unwise thing to behave like a jerk. Especially when the customer had promised to finish a guest post for a blog on time. Gives the soon to be former customer incentive for trying a free program that they've heard good things about. It's even less wise to be a jerk when the freebie turns out to be superior to the commercial product.

Take care, have fun and keep visiting BAB this week. It looks to be an especially good one.



Anonymous said...

You know.......I always thought Under A Cherry Moon was incredibly weak. Like lame weak.... But that's not why I called.

For those scoring at home, I'm well into my second short box of Avengers issues. As I type this post I'm scanning Avengers Crossing (390 and a half?). I always get a sad feeling when the cover pulls away during scanning. Sadness.

I wholeheartedly agree with youse guys. I do wonder if Marvel has changed the rules here, created a new paradigm with their film series. While it is the third Captain America, it's also the continuation of an overall storyline.

Anyhoo, in preparation for next week's release, I've been rewatching the series. Started with IM and now I'm on Ant Man. They're all arriving at the party......

P.S. Marvel, the 90s, one big mess........

(Most of the cast that you meet on the streets speak of true love,
Most of the time they're sittin' and cryin' at home.
One of these days they know they better get goin'
Out of the door and down on the streets all alone.

Truckin', like the do-dah man. Once told me "You've got to play your hand"
Sometimes your cards ain't worth a dime, if you don't lay'em down,

Sometimes the light's all shinin' on me;
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurres to me What a long, strange trip it's been).

P.P.S. It's Prowler.....I hate Windows 10!!!!

Anonymous said...

Whoa you know the BAB has hit the big time when it has (gasp) staff writers! :)

Anyways, PFG, wow you are a genius, man! Really looking froward to the contributions from Redartz, Martinex1 and Colin Bray! Yeah, generally speaking most 3rd movies do not live up to the original, although there are some exceptions - I loved Return of the Jedi (although I could have done without the Ewoks), LOTR Return of the King (hey, it was the final act of a trilogy) and yes, Search for Spock (quite frankly, I loved every movie Nimoy directed).

Dunno about the odd vs even Star Trek movies, but it does seem most of the even numbered ones are the best. Star Trek V was the worst, and it was directed by Shatner! Goes to show sometimes (but not always) an actor does not always have the best vision as a director. The Trek franchise almost died courtesy Captain Kirk!

Let's hope Captain America:Civil War bucks the trend of horrible third instalments. After all, it's one movie in Marvel Studios's grand overarching scheme of movies, which so far has been a proven formula.

- Mike 'keeping my fingers crossed' from Trinidad & Tobago.

William said...

My personal top 3 worst 3rd movie sequels ever. These are movies that I was really looking forward to that should have no brainers to get right, but instead turned out to be so bad that they left me scratching my head wondering if the people responsible actually ever even saw the previous installments.

Superman 3
Batman Forever
Alien 3

And the thing is these franchises just continued to get even worse after the 3rd movies (Superman 4, Batman and Robin, Alien Resurrection).

Anonymous said...

There have been much worse movies than Alien 3, Bill.
But I agree with you about the other two.

William said...

Yes M.P., I agree that there have definitely been much much worse movies than "Alien 3", but not necessarily movies that were the 3rd installment of a franchise. There are plenty of 2nd movies in a series that are worse than Alien 3 such as "HIghlander 2" and "Speed 2" just to name a couple.

However, we are specifically talking about 3rd movies, and for me the first two Alien films were some of the best sci-fi (action / horror) movies ever made, and so I was expecting great things from Alien 3, and instead I was just greatly disappointed. The film just didn't feel the same as the other two. Like it was a totally separate movie that had almost nothing to do with the previous installments. Which isn't always a bad thing, but in this case I felt it was. I remember walking out of that movie thinking "What the hell was that?". There was almost nothing I liked about that one. And I thought the ending was especially bad. IMO

In contrast, I walked out of Spider-Man 3 thinking that it wasn't as good as the first two movies, but I didn't hate it or anything. It still felt like the same world with the same shared vision as the other movies. (Unlike Alien 3).

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